New Year, New Accounting Resolutions

January is the perfect time to assess your current accounting processes and tools and make a plan to become more efficient.

New year, clean slate — we accounting professionals are rolling up our sleeves and getting ready to kick off the new accounting period. This year, I’m sure, involves a lot more strategic planning than usual, knowing we need to be ready to monitor changes in business results and execute decisions quickly.

But we can’t forget it’s also a time for reflection, measuring how successful we were at executing last year, balancing our responsibilities, and acknowledging the huge effort our teams put forward.

The beginning of each year is the ideal time to assess the company’s accounting processes and workflows, define goals for improvement, and create plans for better internal performance. We need our accounting processes to flow smoothly, to balance required output with constraints, and we have just a few moments of peace to think about what the future will bring, fix our mistakes from the prior year, and set things on the proper track.   

Accounting professionals have always been responsible for recording, summarizing, analyzing, and reporting financial data, but we all know that, in reality, the role has become much more complicated. Tracking customers and receivables can take an entire department, involving multiple people, jobs, and workflows that support the larger process. Then there are vendors, accounts payable, cash management, financial analysis, forecasting and planning, inventory, revenue recognition, payroll, sales taxes — and as the business grows each year, these processes become increasingly complex.

Rarely do we take the time to sit down and plan improvements while we’re racing through the thick of it.

Past Processes

In many companies, established processes like accounts receivable and payable are showing their age. There’s a divide between current accounting department responsibilities and those the processes were built to handle in past years. Tasks like monitoring customer balances, tracking KPIs, sending balance reminders, and timing vendor payments were left without integrated solutions.

As a result, new employees were tacked onto the team to help plug gaps and deliver results. But this created Frankenstein-like branches and tangents on process maps — and wasted lots of time and money on duplication and manual effort. Rarely were processes modeled and planned for maximum efficiency.

In contrast, today’s lean accounting teams carefully choose solutions and regularly update processes to ensure optimal performance and add value to the company.

Today’s Tech: Smarter, Not Harder

Accounting professionals know there are better ways to handle archaic processes than simply throwing another warm body in the mix and hoping for the best. Critical assessments of processes that struggled in prior years is the starting point. Clearly defining desired performance and establishing goals is the next step. The gap between the two can then be identified and resolved. Better tools and accounting software, like NetSuite, can then take processes to the next level and deliver desired results, like speeding up slow approval processes, tracking KPIs, and monitoring customer balances accurately and in real time.

NetSuite cloud accounting software is built to help companies do more with less, delivering a complete accounting solution for a fully connected and automated platform that centralizes accounting data and operations and improves the speed and efficiency of accounting processes. Automation technology helps address the challenge of coordinating multiple accounting processes without human error, and NetSuite’s automated solutions connect accounting processes back to one database, ensuring better data quality and integrity.

NetSuite continuously delivers solutions to expand accounting capabilities and improve prior year processes. Simplified workflows, better financial visibility, and timely monitoring ensures you can operate more efficiently, meet deadlines calmly, and dedicate more time to meaningful tasks that support improved decision-making in the coming new year.

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